4 Safety Tips for Concealed Carry Permit Holders
Carrying a concealed weapon is a privilege in many U.S. states, but carrying a firearm safely requires diligence. There are a variety of factors that can make a legally concealed firearm unsafe. Accidents do happen and weapons are accidentally discharged, sometimes because of negligence.
Whether your concealed weapon fires a true accidental discharge or negligent discharge, you will be held legally liable for damages and/or injuries. To avoid either situation, here are four tips for safely carrying a concealed weapon.
- Wear the proper clothing
If your clothing gets in the way of drawing your weapon, you might end up fumbling your draw. A tight shirt that makes it hard to draw can lead to a dropped weapon and accidental discharge. You should also avoid wearing jackets that have drawstrings that could get caught on your holster or weapon.
To avoid accidental discharges, it’s critical to wear the proper clothing for carrying a concealed weapon. The clothing that works for you will be different than what works for others. For instance, the way you draw will influence what clothing works best for you. For instance, if you carry on your leg, you probably don’t need to worry about your shirt or jacket.
How to get the right concealed carry clothing
To get the right clothing, you need to pay attention to your pants and your shirt, along with any jacket or sweatshirt you might wear. Many people prefer button-up shirts, but as long as you practice your draw and are familiar with the length and fit of your clothing, you can make just about anything work.
Ideally, you should be using some kind of concealed carry clothing specifically designed to support your weapon. Depending on how you carry, you might find these items particularly useful for securing your firearm when you plan on being active. However, don’t plan on doing backflips while you carry. That didn’t work out well for this off-duty FBI agent.
You also might want to get a pair of tactical pants from VERTX that have hidden pockets for escape and evade tools. The pants have a hole in the front pocket for earbuds on one model, but many people use the hole to stash a tourniquet. If you’re going to carry, it makes sense to be completely prepared.
- Choose your carry condition wisely
There are five ways you can carry your firearm:
- Condition 0: Magazine is inserted, a round is chambered, and all safeties are disengaged.
- Condition 1: Magazine is inserted, a round is chambered, and external safeties are engaged.
- Condition 2: Magazine is inserted, a round is chambered, but the hammer is de-cocked.
- Condition 3: Magazine is inserted, but no round is chambered.
- Condition 4: Cleared. No round in the chamber and no magazine inserted.
Naturally, the ideal way to carry a weapon is to have a round in the chamber. If you need to use your weapon quickly, you’ll be ready. However, carrying with a bullet in the chamber is also the most dangerous way to carry a firearm under certain circumstances.
It’s not necessarily dangerous to carry with a round in the chamber if you’re using a reliable firearm, the right holster, and acting responsibly. If you have a functioning firearm, it shouldn’t discharge unless you pull the trigger. However, some popular firearms – like the Sig Sauer P320 – have been known to fire when bumped.
Research your firearm’s reputation for accidental discharge and choose your carrying condition accordingly. If you live in a really bad part of town, it might make sense to carry with a bullet in the chamber regardless of what firearm you own. Otherwise, you may want to consider condition 3.
- Get a holster specifically made for your firearm
Plain and simple, you need a holster specifically made for your gun. Holsters need to cover the entire trigger area and prevent strings and other things from wrapping around your gun. The best way to ensure a proper and safe fit is to get a holster manufactured specifically for your sidearm.
- Practice your draw
Practice can’t be over-emphasized. Practicing your draw is essential for safety. In a stressful situation, you need to be operating on muscle memory as much as possible. Practicing your draw will help you develop that muscle memory, and you’ll learn quickly what clothing will get in the way.
Safety and common sense come first
When you carry a concealed firearm, you have a duty to exercise caution at all times to prevent accidental discharges. This means not doing backflips at parties or engaging in wrestling matches just for fun. The best way to stay safe as a CCW permit holder is to exercise common sense.